We owe it to ourselves to celebrate all the little things and the milestones, and our Lakewood location offers a unique opportunity to celebrate our health and our accomplishments at once by enjoying a spa service with a sidecar of bubbly. Tribu is a pitch-perfect combo that meets so many Covid-era requirements: safe, private, clean, partially outdoors, and relaxing, and I am so glad that in this moment, we are able to help so many of our clients celebrate safely.
Most of the time I come into your email box with helpful suggestions to deepen your self-care practice or new ways to find time and space for yourself, and otherwise nice notes from your massage therapist. Since I started writing this blog, I have considered all the ways my friends’ work and home lives (and all their stressors) might look like yours, and translate my advice to them to fit a wider audience. But when it comes to the unique experience of parenting amid the coronavirus, I find myself at a loss. I am not a mother yet, but the acts of heroism and sacrifice I have seen out of my mom’s friends have inspired in me a sense of hope for what comes next, and some curiosity about how they are making all of this work. Parents always walk the tight rope, but right now you are doing it while spinning plates.
The first thing your mother’s doctor did after you were born was place your tiny, brand new body on your mother’s chest, and through the first few days of your life one of your parents’ many jobs was to take turns taking off their shirts to hold you. This practice is casually called “kangaroo care,” making it sound silly but it’s serious business. Touch is how we let newborn babies know that we love them, and numerous studies have been done on how skin contact as an infant develops serotonin and oxytocin pathways in us, helping us form healthy bonds and develop trust in others as adults. Being touched, by this metric, is literally how we learn to love each other and experience joy on a chemical level.
Now that we’ve been back at it for a couple weeks, as a massage therapist I can confidently say that your home office probably needs work. I know that in my industry we had literal hours’ notice that we weren’t going to go back to work in a typical capacity any time soon, and unless your HR department is psychic or extremely proactive you probably got surprised by a sudden work from home order. I’ve been massaging clients who have all sorts of weird WFH setups: most often a kitchen table, but some work on a couch, a few clients I’ve talked to are working at a breakfast bar and sitting on a stool (they definitely needed a massage.) We all did our best with what we had available, but now that we are settling into the distancing groove, you owe it to your body to find more comfort while at work. Below is a shortlist of tweaks you can make to your workspace to make it a little more livable, plus some low impact stretches I recommend to my clients to undo WFH tension. I know it doesn’t compare to a vacation to reverse the stress of quarantine, but working in uncomfortable circumstances will only serve to compound our stay at home frustration.
Whether you are a newbie to spa life or a veteran bodywork client, you’ve probably wondered at least once what difference there is between Swedish massage and deep tissue besides the depth of pressure. The short answer is that they are not too different overall, since both modalities work to increase circulation and broaden the muscle tissue. However, in deep tissue massage therapists often introduce other methods of pain relief like trigger point release or myofascial release in order to address specific complaints. The benefits of deep tissue massage are obvious- if your hip or shoulder has been giving you trouble, therapeutic massage can often correct it. But my feelings about the necessity of massage for holistic health changed when I decided to give medium pressure Swedish massage a shot, with no specific goal other than chilling out.